The startup will use the funds to build a strong engineering team, develop its product offering and create early customer traction
You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Bengaluru-based tech startup Wasabi (Truegrit Technologies Private Limited) announced on Thursday to have raised $1.8 million in a Seed round led by Ankur Capital. The round also saw participation from Binny Bansal-backed 021 Capital, Sparrow Capital, and angels like Ankit Bhati (Ola), Mekin Maheshwari (Udhyam Learning), Lalit Keshre (Groww), Revant Bhate (Mosaic Wellness), Abhishek Goyal (Tracxn), and Ashish Goel (Urban Ladder) among others.
The funds raised will be utilized to build a strong engineering team, develop their product offering and create early customer traction.
“With an increasing number of customers going digital and intense competition from large e-commerce platforms, many small businesses are facing an existential threat. We believe that they can thrive only by going digital while continuing to build closer relationships with their customers and providing them with personalized service. We are excited to partner with Ritu and the team at Ankur Capital as we get started on this journey,” said Pradeep Dodle, co-founder, Wasabi.
Founded in January 2021 by Pradeep Dodle and Nikhil Goenka, Wasabi is building easy-to-use communication and growth platform for small and medium businesses in India to help them manage customer relationships better and grow their business. With their domain and product expertise, spanning stints at PhonePe, Flipkart and Ola, the team aims to address the challenges that SMBs face in providing high-quality digital experiences to customers.
“The biggest moat for small businesses is their relationship and proximity to customers. While they do this exceptionally well offline, they are struggling to extend the same experience digitally. They juggle multiple apps and find it complex to manage. We want to simplify this, help them build stronger customer relationships, and grow their business,” commented Nikhil Goenka, co-founder, Wasabi.
“We are excited to partner with Pradeep and Nikhil to reimagine the millions of small businesses in India and enhance their capabilities. We see SMBs as the backbone of Indian commerce and the opportunity to expand their offerings and grow their businesses to compete in the new digital age as table stakes. Simple, easy-to-use products will define winners in tech and we believe the team at Wasabi is already well on its way in building a world-class product,” added Ritu Verma, co-founder and managing partner, Ankur Capital.
According to industry estimates, there are more than 60 million registered small and medium businesses in India and many millions of more home-based businesses. While consumers are increasingly going digital, these businesses are lagging behind in embracing new technologies that could help them become more data-driven while also catalyzing a more contextual real-time engagement with their customers. The team believes the next 3-5 years will be transformational where millions of these small businesses will go digital to survive and thrive.